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Substance Abuse and Crime and Victims of Crime Substance Abuse: (chemical use that impairs normal human functioning) Contributes to many social problems • Breakup of families • Decreased productivity in industry • Injuries in the workplace • Automobile crashes • Criminal activity Most widely abused substance in the U.S. due to it being socially acceptable Alcoholism can lead to many problems • 10 % of work-related injuries • 40 % of suicide attempts • Spouse, significant other, child abuse (65 % of the victims who suffered from violence reported alcohol as a factor) • Committing crimes (40 % of violent crimes had alcohol as a factor) Drunk Driving: operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol • DUI: Driving under the influence • DWI: Driving while intoxicated BAC(Blood Alcohol Concentration): indicates the grams per deciliter (g/dl) of alcohol in the blood. • Can be determined through breath, urine, or blood samples • A person is intoxicated if the BAC is 0.10 g/dl or greater • A person is impaired if the BAC is between 0.01 g/dl and 0.09 g/dl • BAC levels vary from state to state Penalties for driving under the influence • Fine • Enrollment in a DWI school • Community service • License suspended (taken away for a period of time) • License revoked (permanently taken away) • Jail sentenced (some laws require a minimum term) A person can have any combination of these penalties. Repeat offenders receive stiffer penalties A person may choose not to take an alcohol test However, most states have an implied consent law • The driver agrees to submit to a BAC test in exchange for the privilege of driving • Most states refusal to take the test could result in immediate suspension of the driver’s license for a certain period. Teens who drink and drive have a greater risk of being injured or killed due to being less- experienced drivers and their bodies are affected faster by alcohol Organizationsare around to help reduce drunk driving and to provide assistance to individuals who are victims of drunk-driving crashes • Mothers against Drunk Driving (MADD) • Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) • Remove Intoxicated Drivers • National Coalition to Prevent Impaired Driving provide greater public awareness of the Helps dangers of drinking and driving Illegal drug intake has lead to a dramatic increase in criminal activity Between 50 to 75 % of persons taken into the criminal justice system test positive for one or more drugs at the time of their arrest. Controlled Substances Act: federal drug law that classifies drugs into five groups, depending on medical use (if any), potential for abuse, and capability to create physical or psychological addiction. • The penalties and criminal sanctions are different for each of the five groups Federaland state laws are now carrying harsher penalties • Under federal law and in some states, those found guilty of being major drug traffickers may face a sentence of “life without parole.” • Some states treat simple possession of even small amounts of certain types of drugs as felonies. debate going on over whether some drugs Big should be legalized (marijuana) Each year, more than 36 million Americans are victimized by crime. Teens are more likely to be the victims of crime than people in any other age group. Except for rape and sexual assault, males are more frequently the victims of every form of violent crime. Persons from lower-income households were more likely to be crime victims that those with higher incomes. Members of minority groups, urban dwellers, and those who rent their homes were more likely to be victims of crime. There is help out here for victims • Most states have victim assistance programs that provide victims with counseling, medical care, and other services/benefits. • Most states have victim compensation laws that provide financial help for victims: paying medical bills, making up lost salary, and in come cases paying funeral costs. • Courts can order restitution (criminals pay back or compensate the victims of their crimes). • Victim advocacy groups that help victims through their trauma and also to protect the rights of victims (ex. MADD) Two different views on what to do if you believe you are about to become the victim of a crime • 1st: you should not fight back • 2nd: you should resist the assailant If you choose this option, be prepared to risk injury or your life. Make sure you know your limitations. If the assailant has a weapon, you should assume that it is going to be used. • General rule: criminals do not want an audience so if you are able to scream or blow a whistle do so. • Call the police as soon as you can. To reduce the risk of crime, follow these rules: • Report suspicious activity to the police. • Lock your doors (dead-bolt lock with a one-inch bolt on each outside door is suggested) and windows • Beware of high-crime areas (dark and deserted streets, parking lots, parking garages, bus stops, etc.) • Try to have someone with you at night. • Don’t flash money in public. • When on vacation: Stop mail delivery or have a neighbor collect the mail and use a timer to turn on lights at night. • If you return home and think that someone has broken in, do not enter it but call the police. • If someone knocks on your door, do not open it until you are sure who is outside. If you are a victim or a witness to a crime do the following: • Stay calm • Call the police immediately! • If anyone is hurt, ask for an ambulance • Always report a crime. • When the police arrive, tell them exactly what you saw and what happened (if possible write down as much info. As you can before they arrive). Age, height, clothing, facial description, etc. of the criminal If the criminal drove away in a car: make, model, color, license #, and the direction of travel.
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